Viola Pook to get a murder retrial Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

Viola Pook, 56, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday April 2, where she was informed that a trial date has been set for May 20, 2014. Pook had been convicted of setting her common-law-husband, 48-year-old Orlando Vasquez, whom she lived with for 23 years on fire, killing him.

Pook appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas who gave her the trial date. The Court of Appeal a few weeks ago had ordered that Pook should undergo a new trial.

After being given the news, Pook told us briefly that she was very happy with having a date set for her retrial. The only thing she lamented was that no relative was with her on this day. She however said that she is confident that on a second trial she will go home free of all charges.

Vasquez was set on fire with second degree burns to 70% of his body killing him after he was rushed to the hospital back on December 31, 2008 from the village of Rancho Dolores.

Pook had been convicted of murder in July 2011, and sentenced to life imprisonment, she appealed her conviction and it came up in late 2013. After hearing her case the Court of Appeal in March of this year quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. The judges of the Court of Appeal were of the view that Pook did not get a fair trial. The judges of the Court of Appeal made their decision based on a remarked made by Pook to a police.

When Pook was initially questioned by police on December 31, 2008, the day police found her common-law husband, Orlando Vasquez, suffering from burns to most of his body inside their Rancho Dolores home, she is alleged to have said "dah me catch him fire.” At the time the police officer whom she made the statement to did not caution her about her rights and this was what the judges of the Court of Appeal made their decision on. Pook's first trial was heard before Justice Herbert Lord back in 2011.